Friday, July 10, 2009

Buyers Or Sellers? Here We Go Again.

Don't do it Reds! Don't reach out in desperation to take a shot at the playoffs in 2009! I implore you, don't mess this thing up. I admire you if you are thinking big, but don't do it, at least not yet. I can't even believe I'm thinking this way, but I'm thinking long-term, something I don't often do. I wish I could think long-term when I have money in my pocket, have to wake up early, or see a bag of donuts for the taking. But what the heck, I'll allow myself to think like an adult for a change.

It's common for baseball teams to reach out and grab a piece of the playoffs if the teams feels it has a decent shot to make it. I'm not sure the Reds have what I would call a "decent shot". But the Reds have a very good reason to go for it: They haven't made the postseason in 14 years. That's an embarrassment. Fans are starved, not only for wins, but for signs that management is serious about winning. But believe it or not, I'm hoping the Reds show restraint and don't go for it this year. Am I crazy? Maybe. Am I a glutton for punishment, content watching a team that is so-so at best? No. But at the risk of sounding silly, I see this team as a year ahead of schedule.

Do you really think the core of this team is ready for prime time? Me neither. But they are getting closer. The hope is Jay Bruce will improve next season and get his batting average where it needs to be. The hope is Chris Dickerson takes over one of the outfield spots, preferably center field. The hope is Phillips and Votto continue to grow as star players. The hope is the young pitching gets to a point where it is among the top staffs in the league, if not leagues. I think these are all reasonable hopes. Although Dickerson may be pushing it thanks to another, less attractive, plan in center.

But who do you think the other teams will want from the Reds in a trade? More than likely, young pitching. I don't touch one of my young pitchers. Arroyo or Harang? Maybe I would move them for the right guy. Edwin? Sure, but you would have to get a third baseman in return. I don't think Edwin is going to bring the Reds what they need. Garrett Atkins and Scott Rolen would not put the Reds over the top. I would love to see Rolen in Cincinnati, but let's face it: While he is hitting around .330, the injuries seem to have robbed him of his power. He would be an improvement, but I would not mortgage the future for that. But I would have to consider him, especially if the price is right. The Reds appear more interested in getting a guy with a big bat who can play the outfield than a guy who plants himself at third base.

Hey, if it's the right guy for the right price and it fits long-term, I have no problem. But I wouldn't mess with the future to make an improbable run this season. While the record doesn't suggest any sort of massive growth, the way this team plays most of the time shows a serious departure from years past. Keep moving forward with the plan. The plan is to make this thing work for the long term. The plan is to build for a World Championship. The Reds aren't there yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment